Michael B. Jordan: World is ready for black Human Torch
05:00 AM, May 17, 2013
The internet has been abuzz about Michael B. Jordan’s possible casting as Johnny Storm, aka the fiery Human Torch, in director Josh Trank’s reboot of The Fantastic Four, due out in 2015.
One item of note for fans of the original comic: Johnny Storm is white, while Friday Night Lights star Jordan is African-American.
Jordan is at the Cannes Film Festival where his widely praised role in Fruitvale Station is being shown on an international stage and talked with USA TODAY about the possibilities of taking on the role.
“Things change and time goes on, it’s 2013 right now,” Jordan says of the Torch talk. “The characteristics of the Human Torch are his name is Johnny Storm, he’s charismatic, and he’s a playboy. That’s it. You know what I’m saying? That’s all there is.”
Chris Evans played the role most recently, in 2005’s Fantastic Four and 2007’s Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, both directed by Tim Story.
Rest assured Jordan has the goods to take this on. He makes clear that right now the casting is all talk. But he starred in Trank’s superhero drama Chronicle, and the two are good friends.
“Nothing is real. Everyone knows we’re good friends. It’s something that if it happened I would be ecstatic,” says Jordan, giving a big wink. “I’d love to be a part of it.”
“That wink was off the record,” he then laughs.
Superhero movies have been part of a genre that has seen colorblind casting in the past: The late Michael Clarke Duncan played the Kingpin, a caucasian supervillain, in Daredevil (2003), and in this summer’s Man of Steel, Laurence Fishburne takes on the role of newspaper editor Perry White, the gruff old white guy from decades of Superman comics.
There have been critics of Jordan’s possible casting. “I think all these people have a continuity problem,” the actor says.
But he believes most people are more than ready to accept the proposition, and the self-confessed comic-book/graphic-novel geek says he’s getting a lot of love on Twitter about the talk.
“I get a lot of support and a lot of love from comic-book geeks. I love it,” says Jordan. “If you go looking for negative things you’re going to find it. You never go through a girl’s phone. If you’re looking for trouble, you’re going to find it. But we’ll see where this all goes.”